The cer­tain trick sud­denly dis­ap­pears

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED - By Phillip Alder

Dou­glas Adams, in “The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Gal­axy,” wrote, “There is a the­ory which states that if ever any­body dis­cov­ers ex­actly what the Uni­verse is for and why it is here, it will in­stantly dis­ap­pear and be re­placed by some­thing even more bizarre and in­ex­pli­ca­ble. There is an­other the­ory which states that this has al­ready hap­pened.”

At the bridge ta­ble, some­times you think you have sure win­ners, only to watch them dis­ap­pear. In to­day’s deal, the de­clarer was Harry Harkavy, one of the most tal­ented play­ers ever, who died on his 50th birth­day from pan­cre­ati­tis in 1965.

Over West’s weak two-bid, North made a de­bat­able take­out dou­ble given his dou­ble­ton club, but bridge is a bid­der’s game. When Harkavy (South) ad­vanced with three hearts, East hap­pily dou­bled, ex­pect­ing a pleas­ant wind­fall. It did not work out like that.

Af­ter West led the spade king, the play started: spade ace, di­a­mond ace, di­a­mond ruff, club king, club ace, club ruff, di­a­mond ruff and club ruff — eight tricks in. South, with three trumps left in his hand, led a di­a­mond from the board to pro­mote his heart 10 to make his con­tract.

Did you no­tice that if East had had only four hearts, and West could have led the suit, the con­tract would have gone down three? East had too many trumps!

The late Richard Free­man said, “I never saw Harry Harkavy make a mis­take. I re­mem­ber the time ev­ery­one in the North-south field was play­ing one no-trump and mak­ing ei­ther 90 or 120. But Harry made plus 600. What’s so un­usual about that? Harold was sit­ting East-west.”

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